Challenges for publishing
Interactive web and publication design is cross-disciplinary. Today, books, documents, reports, whitepapers, and multi-media productions are seldom successful when published in one format alone. The art director and product designer must forecast clear communication and user experience across analog, digital, learning platforms, and social media to successfully publish and bring material to the target users. The designer predicts and makes way for shareability, virality, and reuse.
Because of the long timelines and moderate omnichannel reach of traditional publishing venues, the author wanted to self-publish and promote these works directly from the desktop to the market. Leveraging their existing influencer networks and MIT brand, the author sought to equal or surpass the reach of previous traditionally published works.
An integrated omnichannel approach
The “New (Ab)Normal” (2020) and “A Shot in the Arm” 2021 books and their companion websites, e-reader publications, and lecture and online learning material demonstrate the effectiveness of an omnichannel production and marketing approach. Through influencer and social media pre-planning that paralleled the book production process, we were able to generate buzz, create demand, and meet users where they were, regardless of platform or media format. Our integrated marketing and publication strategy used Agile tactics to achieve results quickly. Books were created, edited, produced, and published in four-month epics composed of a series of two-week sprints, representing a 4x quicker time to market than traditional publishing.
As art director, designer, production manager, publisher, and press agency manager for these business books, I worked closely with the author on strategy and implementation. Managing a team of four, we published cross-platform print and digital publications with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Google in English and Spanish with accompanying websites, social media, and paid digital campaigns. We created collateral educational, learning modules, and lecture support materials.
Decrease in time-to-market compared to traditional publishing
Speaking engagements booked since publication
Annual increase in website traffic
Cover design and production management
Book design, typeface selection, layout, and cover art were created following the design patterns from previously published books by the author. Brand Principles: authoritative, scientifically accurate, and essential to business managers.
Production management unified marketing, communications, and publication in a seamless, cyclical, agile process working out from contributors and influencers to mass media and business leaders to the general public.
Website design and management
The website component featured the publications traditionally while allowing for easy social media engagement. Clear purchase pathways combined with sample downloads, and ways to interact with the author. This allowed for a true omnichannel experience for the user to learn about, read, engage, and ultimately purchase.
Marketing and media outreach, including direct and digital
The book “A Shot in the Arm” documents the business and supply chain challenges vaccine companies faced in the rush to produce Covid-19 vaccines. One component of the marketing campaign focused on reaching writers for the major media publishers. Advanced copies of the book were sent to business and science writers with a humorous “prescription.” While the prescription was filled with candy, the label involved the recipient in an interactive play that encouraged them to write about the book’s themes and concepts vital to businesses in the face of disruption.